The Starke County Commissioners have tasked coroner-elect Adam Gray with finding a suitable space for a morgue. He told the commissioners he needs a completely secure facility to house the county’s cooler and provide a viewing area for family members should an identification need to be made. Gray says the cooler needs 16 feet of clearance. He adds a 20-by-20 space with concrete floors and metal walls will be adequate to meet the county’s needs. The commissioners suggested adding on to the west side of the existing Starke County EMS building in Grovertown or possibly building on another parcel of county-owned land. EMS Director Keith Emigh notes the ambulance garage is a bare-bones facility and said pipes freeze in cold weather. Continue reading
Detectives with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department continue to investigate a hit-and-run accident that resulted in the death of a Grovertown man.
Christopher Howard, 33, was last seen leaving a friend’s house at 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 16 in the area of 1025 E. and 50 N. in Starke County. He was reported missing that afternoon and officers found his vehicle in the area of 900 East and 500 North two hours later. Police noted in a press release that the car was involved in a collision and footprints were observed leaving the scene.
A Hamlet man was killed instantly after the vehicle he was driving collided with a semi truck on U.S. 30 at Frontage Road in Hamlet late Monday morning. Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells says Lawrence Siegel, 72, died of massive blunt force trauma including head, neck, chest and internal injuries. Continue reading
Officers arrived at the scene shortly after 11 a.m. and found a semi tanker on its side engulfed in flames. The passenger car involved in the accident was located on the side of the roadway, according to the accident report. The driver was airlifted from the scene to South Bend Memorial Hospital where she later died of her injuries. The passenger and the semi driver were taken to IU Health Starke Hospital and later transferred to South Bend Memorial Hospital. Their medical conditions are unknown.
A tractor-trailer versus car crash on U.S. 30 in Hamlet late this morning claimed a life. The Starke County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police and Hamlet Police Department are investigating the wreck. Continue reading
Results of a forensic autopsy conducted in the case of 33-year-old Christopher Howard of Grovertown have been released by Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells.
He stated that Howard died instantly of multiple systems blunt force trauma, including massive head, chest and abdominal injuries.
An investigation by the Starke County Sheriff’s Department found that Howard was last seen leaving friend’s house at 2 a.m. on Tuesday in the area of 1025 E. and 50 N. in Starke County. He was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon. His vehicle was found in the area of 900 East and 500 North at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and it appeared to have been involved in a collision.
Detectives with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department have identified the man killed in an apparent hit and run crash on U.S. 30 as Christopher Howard, 33. Continue reading
Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells tells WKVI News an autopsy will be conducted today on the victim of an apparent hit and run crash. Detectives from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department have not released the victim’s name. Continue reading
The current Starke County Jail in downtown Knox will still be owned by the county and used for correctional programs once the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center east of Knox on State Road 8 opens next year. Commissioner Kathy Norem says the building is part of the collateral for the loan to build the new structure, so it cannot be sold or torn down and must be used in the justice arena. She says the county set aside money to renovate the building. Continue reading
Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff hopes to file formal charges today against the Knox man accused of stealing two cars and leading police on a high speed chase Friday afternoon. Police say Gary Chavez, 57, of Knox, commandeered the first car in the Mark Bailey’s Discount Center parking lot at 3:41 p.m. He switched vehicles in English Lake, according to authorities, and left the owner of the first stolen car behind when he took a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Continue reading
The estranged wife of the Knox man accused of stealing three vehicles and leading police on a high-speed chase through four counties Friday afternoon was murdered. Kimberly Chavez, 50, of Portage, was found dead Friday evening at the home of her estranged husband, Gary. Continue reading
Starke County Prosecutor Nichoals Bourff does not anticipate filing charges against the Knox man police say stole two cars in Starke County and led them on a high-speed chase through four northwest Indiana counties until at least tomorrow. Gary Chavez, 57, of Knox is still in critical condition at Christ Advocate Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. He’s been there since Friday night after shooting himself in an apparent attempt to avoid arrest by police in Crown Point. They used stop sticks to flatten the tires on the truck Chavez was driving. Continue reading
The Knox man police say stole three vehicles and led officers from multiple departments on a high-speed chase through four counties Friday afternoon is still in critical condition at Christ Advocate Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. The pursuit started in Starke County when Gary Chavez, 57, of Knox, allegedly stole a car at gunpoint from the parking lot at Mark Bailey’s Discount Center. Continue reading
The Starke County Prosecutor’s Office expects to file formal charges today against the Knox man accused of stealing two cars in Starke County and leading police from multiple agencies on a high-speed chase through four counties Friday afternoon. Continue reading
The apparent homicide victim found late Friday afternoon at a rural Knox home after a high speed chase that started with a carjacking at Mark Bailey’s Discount Center and ended with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Interstate 65 in Lake County has been tentatively identified. Continue reading
Officials with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department have released the name of the man accused of stealing three vehicles and leading police from multiple agencies on a high-speed chase through Starke, LaPorte, Porter and Lake Counties Friday afternoon. Continue reading
Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells is scheduling a forensic autopsy for the victim of an apparent homicide at a California Township home. Investigators from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department found the woman late Friday afternoon after a high-speed chase that began with a carjacking at Mark Bailey’s Discount Center on State Road 10at 3:41 p.m. and ended on Interstate 65 in Lake County when the suspect apparently shot himself after police deployed stop sticks to end the pursuit. He is in critical condition at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. Authorities have not released his name and will not do so until proper next of kin notifications are made. Continue reading
Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells has released the cause and manner of death in the case of Isaiah Grounds.
A forensic autopsy was conducted at the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center in Fort Wayne by Forensic Pathologist Dr. Scott Wagner. Dr. Wagner determined that Grounds’ cause of death was a combined effect of acute blood loss from injuries consistent with a motor vehicle crash and cold exposure. The manner of death was accidental.
Grounds was reported missing on Dec. 12. He was last seen alive at the Grovertown Truckstop entering a vehicle in the early morning hours on Dec. 10. That vehicle was found abandoned following an accident at 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 10. A resident searching for Isaiah Grounds on horseback found his body a half mile from the accident scene on Dec. 23.
Rannells stated that no further details are being released at this time. An investigation is ongoing with the Indiana State Police along with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department.
A single-vehicle crash Monday evening near Grovertown claimed a Plymouth woman’s life. Cathryn Ellison, 24, of Plymouth, was westbound on 300 North just west of 1100 East, lost control of her vehicle and was ejected, according to information provided this morning by the Starke County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responded to a report of a vehicle in a ditch. Ellison was trapped underneath it. Starke County Chief Deputy Coroner Doug O’Donnell pronounced her dead at the scene. Her official cause of death is listed as traumatic asphyxiation. Coroner Kris Rannells tells WKVI news that means the weight of the vehicle on top of her would not allow her to breathe. The Hamlet Police Department, Koontz Lake, Hamlet and Washington Township Fire Departments and the Indiana State Police assisted the Starke County Sheriff’s Office at the scene. The Indiana State Police will be reconstructing the crash.
Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells told WKVI that he will know more about 78-year-old Zorka Antonijevick’s cause of death when toxicology results return. Rannells will analyze carbon monoxide levels and other factors to determine a final ruling once those results are received in approximately eight weeks.